Mr. ST. LAURENT: I thank hon. members. I have a little more information on this matter which may be of interest.
The countries which the Russian plan would regard as directly interested are those which were occupied during the war. This would include Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Byelorussia, the Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Greece and Albania. The others, said to be without direct interest, would be the commonwealth countries and Brazil. The directly interested countries would take part in the discussion and study of these subjects assigned to them by the special deputies, whilst the others could only witness these discussions without participating in them.
This plan, in my estimation, embodies a curious and inadmissible definition of the countries which are directly interested. The Soviet deputy would include Albania and Luxembourg among those states with direct interest, and would exclude Canada. I cannot imagine that the Soviet authorities really expect us to take seriously a distinction which would bring about that consequence. The Soviet representative in London who presented these views to the special deputies is Mr. Gousev who was Soviet minister in Canada in 1912 and 1943. Mr. Gousev cannot be under any misapprehension as to the nature of Canada's contribution to the defeat of Germany and of Canada's interest in the defeat of Germany. He cannot really think that a country which mobilized A million men, more than half of whom served in combat zones in the war against Germany, made a contribution to the defeat of Germany of less consequence than the war effort of Albania and of Luxembourg. He, of all people in the Soviet administration, is in a position to know the significance of Canada's industrial state in the war, for it was during his period of office in Ottawa that negotiations were begun which resulted in the delivery to the U.S.S.R. of war supplies under mutual aid to the value
of $167,255,000. We were glad to give these weapons to the U.S.S.R. and will never forget the good use made of them against the common enemy. But we cannot believe that the Soviet government has forgotten our contribution to the war, nor our direct interest in what was at stake in the war, or that it can believe that distinctions such as that could be contemplated.